New signs equipped with QR codes have been installed at downtown bus shelters to market Steamboat Springs' public recreational facilities.

Photo by Scott Franz

New signs equipped with QR codes have been installed at downtown bus shelters to market Steamboat Springs' public recreational facilities.

City's public recreational facilities the focus of new marketing campaign

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— Steamboat Springs' public recreational facilities are getting more visibility thanks to a new marketing effort by the city's public relations arm.

Waiting at a cold bus shelter downtown with a smartphone?

Scanning a QR code on any of the new posters that market city attractions including Haymaker Golf Course and Howelsen Ice Arena will take visitors to the city's website showcasing the facility.

Government program manager Winnie DelliQuadri, who is working on the new marketing campaign with other city staff members, said Monday that the new signage aims to make tourists and visitors more aware of the public attractions they can utilize during their stay.

She said without the posters and signs on the free buses, some visitors don't realize there are bumper cars to ride at the ice arena or plenty of indoor tennis courts on which to play.

“We've had people say, 'I've been visiting Steamboat for 10 years, and I didn't know you guys had an indoor tennis center,” DelliQuadri said. “We're just trying to make it easier for people to know what we have that is public supported and open to everybody.”

In addition to new signage, DelliQuadri and the city also have updated Steamboat's digital presence on the popular travel-rating site Trip Advisor.

DelliQuadri said the cleanup entailed adding more information about attractions including the Bear River Skatepark, Haymaker and the tennis center.

While the digital upkeep and new signage are the more immediate evidence of new marketing efforts, DelliQuadri said other high-tech improvements could be close behind.

The city is in the early stages of pursuing grant funding to add GPS devices to Steamboat Springs Transit buses and roll out a “next-bus” feature that would allow riders to find out when the next bus will roll up to each stop.

Also in the design phase are new posters that will be placed in the nine downtown bus shelters that have a historical theme. QR codes on those signs will take smartphone users to a website detailing the history of each shelters' theme.

For example, the code at the Crawford bus stop will supply history about the Crawford Family. The same goes for the Perry-Mansfield themed stop.

In a memo to the Steamboat Springs City Council last month, Interim City Manager Deb Hinsvark outlined the city's new marketing efforts.

She said in addition to rolling out the new advertising panels and QR codes, city officials are in the process of meeting with concierge workers to offer them “the opportunity to experience our facilities so that they will promote our facilities to their guests.”

DelliQuadri said the city also included $25,000 in its 2013 budget to set up new marketing displays in the recreational facilities. To put new signage on the Tennis Center to make it more recognizable, and to do promotional videos on the recreational facilities, among other things.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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